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Sudan is a country in North Africa with a population of 40 million people. It has long been ruled by fundamentalist Islamic leaders who believe only those born of Arab descent are "pure Muslims."

Darfur—a region in the west of Sudan—is home to 6 million Muslims of African descent. For decades the African Muslims of Darfur were treated as second-class citizens, systematically kept powerless and impoverished.

In 2003, to protest the Arab-dominated government's abuse and oppression of the people of Darfur, African rebels attacked a military outpost. Two weeks later, the Sudanese government unleashed armed Arab tribal militias to kill not only those who planned the uprising, but to also wipe out their entire race. These murdering militias are known as the "Janjaweed"—which means "evil on horseback."

Over three years, the Janjaweed have torched villages, livestock and farms, gang-raped women and children, and slaughtered whole families in cold blood. Nearly 400,000 have died, and millions are homeless and on the brink of starvation. The U.N. calls the genocide in Sudan today's greatest humanitarian crisis.
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FROM: The Shocking Story George Clooney Has to Tell
Published on April 26, 2006

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